Dear Vermont Tech Community:
In November, we honor Native American Heritage Month. This month allows us time to learn, reflect, and engage in both the historical and modern experiences of Native Americans in our country. We use the term Native Americans to represent the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. The best terminology is what an individual person or tribal community uses to describe themselves. When possible, we refer to the specific tribe or tribal community. Learn more about the various terms used by indigenous people to describe themselves here.
In Vermont, there are four state-recognized Western Abenaki Tribes:
- The Elnu Abenaki Tribe
- The Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe
- The Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation, and
- The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi.
Within the political borders of Vermont there is also the federally recognized Mohican Nation.
No matter where you are in Vermont or across the world, which campus you attend, or whether you are a resident or commuter student, there are many opportunities offered below to learn more about Indigenous peoples. We are also repeating our CALL TO ACTION. We are seeking students, faculty and staff with connections to Native Americans or others who are interested in amplifying Native American voices and experiences by developing a Land Acknowledgement Statement for Vermont Tech. To learn more about what a Land Acknowledgement statement is and how you can help please read below.
Native American Heritage Month Programming:
Virtual Game night with Native American Heritage Month questions
- Monday, November 8
- ZoomLink, Meeting ID: 861 4986 4456, Passcode (case-sensitive, lowercase): playnow
Screening of Dawnland
“For decades, child welfare authorities have been removing Native American children from their homes to save them from being Indian. In Maine, the first official “truth and reconciliation commission” in the United States begins a historic investigation. DAWNLAND goes behind-the-scenes as this historic body grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations.”
- Williston: Wednesday, November 17, Room 203; lunch provided.
- Randolph: TBD
- Streaming via VIMEO from your computer any time. Password: silver.five.dove
Screening of Songs My Brothers Taught Me
“A melancholic portrait of Lakota Indian life on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the South Dakota Badlands.” This is a movie that was written and directed by Academy Award winner Chloe Zhao
- Randolph: Tuesday, November 30, 7 pm, Campus Center
- Streaming via KANOPY from your computer any time
Resources for Further Learning:
- The origin story of Lake Champlain by Abenaki Chief Don Stevens of the Nulhegan Band
- Remembering Bea Nelson, community leader and Abenaki elder
- The origins of Native American History Month
- “As Abenaki Bills Pass, A Look at Where Vermont’s Indigenous Tribes Stand”
- Native American activism from 1960’s to Present
- Castleton University Library Guide
- Vermont Abenaki Artists Association
- Documentaries Featuring the Native American Experience
- To start using Kanopy, you’ll need to create an account through the Hartness Library. You can connect your Kanopy account to a Google or Facebook account or use any email address you prefer. If you have any trouble creating your Hartness Library Kanopy account, contact a librarian at (800) 431-0025 or email@example.com.
- IllumiNative is a Native-led non-profit using research to change the narrative about Native people in pop culture, media, k-12 education, and other critical sectors.
- Information on Vermont’s Abenaki Bands:
Call to Action:
We are seeking Vermont Tech students, faculty and staff with connections to Native Americans who would like to help develop a Land Acknowledgement Statement for Vermont Tech. A Land Acknowledgement Statement is a formal statement spoken at the beginning of a public event, or written as part of a public communication that recognizes those events, communities, homes and businesses which reside on land originally inhabited by or belonging to indigenous people. A Land Acknowledgment also formally recognizes and respects indigenous peoples as stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between indigenous peoples and their traditional lands.
For more information on Land Acknowledgement, please see these resources below:
- Guide to Indigenous Land and Territorial Acknowledgements for Cultural Institutions
- Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs
- Native Land map
If you are interested in developing a Land Acknowledgement Statement for Vermont Tech, please email Kathleen Mason